CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT AND GLOBAL ORGANIZATIONS: “The dilemma of a 21st century manager” : Case study of Statoil in Norway)
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This study is concerned with the language problem that springs up at Statoil when the forces of globalization encounter the local. It examines some factors that may explain why the local employees prefer Norwegian to English language even when the company has made it clear that the official language of communication is English. Furthermore, the study discusses how Statoil can use cultural diversity to its advantage. The theoretical and analytical frameworks consist of a knowledge management perspective, Hofstede‟s four dimensions, glocalization and learning theories. Hofstede and glocalization theories are used to help explain the reasons behind the language problem while knowledge management perspective and learning are used to analyze how cultural diversity in a firm can be advantageous. The study was carried out at Statoil (Rotvol) with ten expatriates from different parts ofthe world. The methodology used in this thesis is qualitative. Specifically, semistructured interviews are given priority. Furthermore, I also used participation observation since I was based at Statoil during my internship. A number of relevant literatures on cross cultural management were also used. The literature involves some ofthe documents I obtained from Statoil in the course of my duties. Lastly, thematic analysis was used as a method of data analysis. The causes or reasons that explain the language problem at Statoil are quite complicated.The study found that ethnocentrism, high sense of nationalism; “uncertainty avoidance”and the rejection of the global for the local were some of the possible reasons. These are attributes that are found in the general Norwegian culture but manifest themselves at the work place as well. Furthermore, for organizational learning to take place and knowledge to be created, thereis need for an environment which encourages interactions .This conducive environment for social interaction, is what broke down at Statoil as a result of the language barrier, thereby affecting knowledge sharing and organizational learning which are critical to the survival of any organization. The study will help Statoil understand the problem they are facing and therefore be able to formulate policies which will best address the problem.